Nelly Bassily | March 1, 2010
Land rights are an issue of top concern to farmers and a justifiable focus of agricultural news. The threat posed by land-grab attempts by large corporations and foreign governments captures a great deal of attention. But concerns such as land rights for indigenous people and women, and conflict over land at the community level, also demand media attention. Here, we present some resources and programming ideas for exploring some of these land rights issues: http://www.afrik.com/article14727.html
-Resources for Journalists, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute, on land rights in Africa: http://www.ifpri.org/media/20060518Land.asp
Indigenous peoples’ land rights
-Are there peoples in your country who have been displaced by former regimes and are now resettled, or wish to resettle, on ancestral lands?
-Are there national laws, policies and procedures to return land to those who have been displaced? If so, are they being implemented? If not, why not?
-If peoples have been resettled, through what process did they obtain the right to return to the land?
-What challenges did the people face after resettlement and how did they overcome them?
-If people have been resettled on farmland, do they have the skills and financial resources to make a living as farmers? Have retraining programs been put in place? What national or local organizations – governmental or NGOs – are working on this issue?
-Are resettled people discarding traditional land uses in favour of new uses? If so, why?
-If legal proceedings are underway to resolve a land claim, what are some of the arguments being considered?
Women’s land rights
Here are some resources that can help you expand your knowledge on African women’s struggle for land rights:
-Land rights: The struggle of African women:
Here are some Farm Radio International scripts that deal with women’s land rights in Africa:
–Promote gender equality and empower women (Package 78, Number 3, July 2006)
–Women, property, and inheritance (Package 73, Number 4, January 2005)
–Land ownership rights: Access denied – Why women need equal access to land (Package 57, Number 9, October 2000)
The following Farm Radio scripts describe fictionalized – though realistic – community conflicts. They suggest reasons why conflict over land and water resources can become so contentious, and some ways that such conflicts can be resolved:
–Conflict over natural resources: A short story (Package 67, Script 7, June 2003)
–Dispute over a sacred stream: Villagers describe the conflict (Package 67, Script 6, June 2003)
Whether the communities in your broadcast area are experiencing a violent conflict, or are simply subject to tensions that can occur wherever resources are shared, consider the role your radio organization can play in reducing conflict. The following resources, taken from previous instalments of FRW’s Radio Resource Bank, may help you to get started:
–Using radio to help communities talk by the Straight Talk Foundation
–A checklist for conflict-sensitive journalism by the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society and International Media Support